There we talked about how the Riverbed Steelhead improves the performance of SQL applications. The below picture illustrates a typical SQL operation.
The client sends the SQL Query Select A from B where C=D to the SQL Server. The SQL Server replies with a list of rows that matched the query and the client requests these rows one by one. The passiveness of this protocol can lead to excessive latency as each row incurs the penalty of a full WAN round trip, as the client has to ask for each row. All these round trips add up and can cause SQL applications to slow to a crawl.
Here is the same sequence, now optimized by the Riverbed Steelhead. The server side Steelhead intercepts the replies from the SQL Server and begins proactively retrieving the matched rows. The rows are then immediately pushed to the client side Steelhead, eliminating WAN round trip penalties and greatly improving the performance of SQL applications.
Here is a video of my presentation